Cannes hotel guests in a panic over false terror alert
Wealthy guests at the exclusive Hotel du Cap in Antibes during the Cannes Film Festival were terrified when men wearing what looked like suicide vests arrived by boat bearing a black, ISIS-like flag.
The men, clad entirely in black, descended on the posh hotel while a helicopter hovered overhead as diners enjoyed a gourmet lunch on the terrace overlooking the Mediterranean on Friday.
Sources said some guests flew into a panic, fearing a terrorist attack, but were later told it was just a “joke.”
One witness said: “A helicopter and men with suicide vests and a fake ISIS flag pulled up by boat on the water in front of the Hotel du Cap’s Grill restaurant. Diners including [Vanity Fair editor in chief] Graydon Carter and his wife Anna, plus [Alice + Olivia designer] Stacey Bendet were sitting in shock. Hotel security got rid of the men but everyone was stunned.
“Nobody knew if it was a stunt or not. Some people were panic-stricken. But they were later told it was a police training exercise. If so, why was there no warning?”
Another guest said, “People’s reactions were a combination of, ‘It’s a hoax’ and truly alarmed.” A third witness added, “They are now saying it was kids playing a joke but half the restaurant got up and left and all the hotel managers came running down. It was terrifying.”
Guests at the iconic hotel, who often arrive by boat, for the film festival include George Clooney, wife Amal and Julia Roberts. Vanity Fair is hosting an A-list party there on Saturday night.
It was reported that former Israeli General Nitzan Nuriel was brought in to oversee security during the glamorous film festival. Cannes Mayor David Lisnard hired the counter-terrorism expert and former brigadier general to mount a security operation to preempt a “multi-terror event” like the one that left 130 victims dead in Paris. The beefed-up security includes over 200 armed police as well as hundreds of officers brought in from the National Police and Gendarmerie.
( Source )